Business conferences are the best events for entrepreneurs to meet like-minded people, share each other’s ideas, collaborate with different people with unique talent, and learn immense amount of priceless business wisdom from the experiences of veterans. Every young and aspiring entrepreneur must attend such conferences to learn from the experiences of others. Conferences provide you with a lot of exposure to the real business world, its operations, survival tips etc.
Despite of all these positive things, entrepreneurs often fail, yes! to get maximum out of business conferences. Few reasons for this can be, lack of purpose for attending the conference, being shy to meet and talk to new people, being reluctant to share own ideas and so on. Due to these mistakes, an entrepreneur can miss important connections and contacts, business wisdom etc.
But for those curious, enthusiastic, young and motivated brains, who want to learn as much as possible from business conferences, here’s a list of 5 things that they should never miss upon.
1. Create your ‘purpose list’
This is a most important thing that you must ensure before attending conference. This is your homework! Always make a list of goals or purposes for which you are attending the conference. Making such list will keep you focused all the time, and will save a lot of time for you. Keeping such list also increases the chances of getting more fruitful contacts which can help you grow your startup. A sample purpose list can look like –
- Look for funding for our startup
- Get a free mentor for our startup
- Meet and connect with iOS free lancer
Every business conference has keynotes and other talk sessions, through which different eminent business personalities. Often we take notes on the conference notepad, which we never open and read back after the conference, missing upon lot of important tips and suggestions. A ‘Startup-Wisdom’ book helps avoid this. After every keynote or speaker session, jot down one important take away or key learning that you would like to remember and use in your business. Once you return from the conference, add all such key learnings to your ‘Startup-Wisdom’ book.
Over a period of time, this book will become a bible for your business operations. Zzzzz! Priceless stuff!
3. Sort Your Business Cards and Store digitally
Networking covers a major part of our activities in conference. Everyone shares their business cards with each other, hoping to build a long term relationships. Unfortunately, once the conference is over, these cards are kept in some dark corner, to never be seen again. Truth, as it stands!
One easy method to avoid this is to sort your business cards in different categories viz. startup founders, freelancers, mentors, funders, tech maniacs etc. Secondly, you can use android or iPhone apps to scan and store these contacts digitally in your smart phones. This makes them available to you all the time. CamCard is a nice android app that I use to store all my business cards. You can find it here.
4. Know what’s your forte
Know your forte. This will help you to connect with right people and will generate a business opportunity for you. Knowing your forte can help you establish yourself as a field expert, in the business community. It can help you create your personal brand. In other way, it will help you to avoid taking on opportunities which are out of your competency.
5. Follow Up
One common mistake that every entrepreneur does is not following up with people after the conference in over. We make promises of sending test mails and connecting over LinkedIn and facebook to people we meet. Unfortunately, this is hardly done.
Always send, test mails, thank you notes, follow on twitter, on the same or next day after the conference is over. This will keep the person from forgetting your name and will help you strengthen the collaboration.
I hope you enjoy this list. Feel free to share new points, from your experiences, in comments section below.